Here's why everyone's talking about the new Billy Ray Cyrus 'Old Town Road' remix
On Friday, rapper Lil Nas X released a remix of his viral trap country song "Old Town Road" featuring pensive cowboy Billy Ray Cyrus.
Judging by the current number of yeehaw memes on Twitter, it's already a huge success. After Lil Nas X's recent debacle involving the Billboard charts, it's also raising questions about who gets to participate in crossover country music.
The 19-year-old originally released the song in December 2018 alongside a Red Dead Redemption-themed video. Within days, it took off on TikTok and debuted on the Billboard Hot Country chart.
Shortly thereafter, according to Rolling Stone, Billboard removed the song from the country charts entirely, telling Lil Nas X's label that its original inclusion was a mistake. The reason? The song "did not embrace enough elements of today's country music to chart in its current version."
The snub opened up a discussion about the country scene's frigidity toward artists of color who make cross-genre songs, especially (as several outlets have already pointed out) ones that got big before the industry machine can classify them. Lil Nas X's banjo-heavy cowboy anthem "Old Town Road" wasn't worthy of country classification, but Taylor Swift's pop songs were? It's hard not to consider that discrimination.
Now, with the addition of Billy Ray Cyrus, the story has taken a delightful turn. Yes, the remix is even better than the original (yeehaw), but Cyrus' contribution is also a middle finger to the country music gatekeepers who rejected the song in the first place. Now, Billboard looks even more smarmy for branding it "not country."
And there are so many memes.
Now, it's likely the song will end up back on the country charts, which marks a victory for a music community run by the internet and unbothered by genre classification. Most importantly, it's a victory for Lil Nas X, who has remained remarkably cool about this whole thing.
"I'm always going to be experimenting musically, trying new things," he told Complex in an interview. "But it's not like I'm not going to have another country trap song. I know it's going to happen again. It's just that I'm not going to try to force it." Yeehaw.
via Mashable http://bit.ly/2DCFv97
April 5, 2019 at 12:22PM